Johann Liechtenauer – 1389
In The Instant…without hurry. In The Before…without hurry. In The After…without hurry.
If there was any place you’d think to hurry, logically, it would be that time frame called The Instant. Fans of Eastern or New Age thinking are very familiar with this time frame as the eternal now, the only time we actually inhabit. Our master hits us again and again with the power of the moment. He demands we enter into it, utterly, learning to read our enemy’s intention, action, commitment, over-commitment, openings, all the elements and methods of his battle mode. In all this, we must not hurry. Perhaps I stretch to see a foreshadowing of Einstein and his time relativity here, but to hurry or not, in The Instant, is surely a very relative thing. In The Instant, slow down.
In The Before, you’re winning, but you must not hurry to complete the battle. Slow down and play with your lead. Enjoy it, but don’t hold too tightly to it, as you’ll need to be ready to both lose and regain it. So slow down in The Before; do not hurry.
If there was any place you’d feel pressed, maybe even a bit panicked to hurry, it would be The After. Here, you’re behind and under attack. You’re enemy has the upper and the earlier hand. Your heart is racing and, if you don’t slow them down, so will your thoughts. Slow those thoughts down, right now. It is speeding up in The After that will kill you. You’ll over commit and present your own mortal opening. Don’t! Slow down and control your responses, until you reclaim The Before. Speed in The After keeps you there, in The After.
Slow down here, while under greatest pressure, and you claim the power of victory itself.